This proposal, like others we have seen in Indiana, would be a liberal expansion of
incarceration. The seemingly benevolent components of this plan suggest a humanitarian approach to the issues that affect people who are incarcerated. However, the actual effect of placing services that should exist outside of the criminal justice system into the
framework of that system naturally widens the net of people who will be captured. Though we are in need of mental health facilities, treatment centers for people with
substance use issues, shelters and transitional living spaces for people experiencing homelessness - placing these services under the umbrella of a justice campus places the people affected by those services into the justice system. Additionally, it criminalizes mental health, addiction, homelessness and poverty.
Incarceration is used as solution to social, economic and health problems. Do the elected officials of Marion County not know how to address the problems that plague our
community, even though we are giving them the solutions? Or do they actually believe that building a justice campus is the best solution?
If it is the former, our goal is to change the paradigm around incarceration - this is why we advocate for mental health facilities, rehab and treatment facilities, shelters, funding for education and job programs, etc. This is why it is important to understand police violence, racialized policing, racialized disparity in sentencing, bail reform, etc. If it is the latter, we have no choice but to believe in the malevolence of our elected officials - because how can one choose to place a human being in a cage and expose that person to conditions most would consider abuse if it were done to an animal?